Watkins to retire in April 2018; Nalin named interim director of IU School of Medicine-Bloomington

December 7, 2017

After 35 years of service to Indiana University, John B. Watkins, Associate Dean and Director of the Indiana University Bloomington Medical Sciences Program, has announced plans to retire in April 2018. 

“John has shown exemplary leadership of the Bloomington Medical Education Center and was instrumental in laying the groundwork for the new Regional Academic Health Center,” remarked Jay L. Hess, Vice President for University Clinical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.

IU Bloomington Provost Lauren Robel noted Watkins development of the educational and research program and deep connections to the medical community. “John has grown the medical sciences in Bloomington from a launching pad for undergraduate students interested in becoming doctors to a full MD and PhD-granting program.  He has carefully developed a strong research profile for the program, while fostering close ties with the medical community.  His leadership has been terrific.” 

A national search will launch in the fall of 2018 to identify a successor. Effective April 1, 2018, Peter Nalin, MD will serve as associate dean and interim director for the IUSM-Bloomington campus until a successor is named.

Throughout his career, Dr. Watkins has been tireless in his commitment to fostering an interest in science throughout the community. He has received numerous awards in recognition for his teaching and scholarship, including the prestigious Trustee Teaching Award granted annually by the university’s Board of Trustees to select faculty members for their excellence in teaching. He has also published and presented on a number of topics including the impact of toxicants and antioxidants on hepatobiliary function, hepatotoxicity and xenobiotic biotransformation on livestock and laboratory animals.

Dr. Watkins earned his bachelors of arts degree in Chemistry from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina where he graduated cum laude in 1975. He was a predoctoral trainee at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences School of Pharmacy in Bethesda, Maryland, from 1975-78 while pursuing both his masters of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in pharmacology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, which he completed in 1979.

Since 2014, Dr. Nalin has served as the Executive Associate Dean (EAD) for Educational Affairs with IU School of Medicine and Executive Vice President for Education in Academic Affairs for IU Health. He recently led the school through a successful self-study and reaccreditation visit with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Dr. Nalin first joined IUSM in 2001 as a residency director of the IU Methodist Family Medicine Residency. In that role, Dr. Nalin was recognized for his leadership when he was elected national president of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors.  He also serves as Associate Vice President of University Clinical Affairs, assisting with the planning of new medical education facilities and statewide implementation of interprofessional education across IU’s eight health science schools. Additionally, Dr. Nalin serves on the Indiana Graduate Medical Education (GME) Board and will continue devoting time to the expansion of GME in key communities including Lafayette, Evansville, Bloomington, Ft. Wayne and Gary.